Wine Library

Wine Library


2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, Backus Vineyard

Winemaker Notes Deeply pigmented, with bold dark fruit, fragrant violet and mineral aromatics, the 2018 vintage is a stunning Cabernet Sauvignon offering of classic Oakville character. The palate is layered with blueberry, black currant, pepper and mocha with a silky, textured, lingering finish.

Winemaking Data Each block at Backus Vineyard remains separate during harvest and fermentation. The complexity of this vineyard can be highlighted through the fruit and depth found in the North and Plateau blocks paired with the structure and concentration in the steep hillside fruit grown in the South block.

Vintage Notes The 2018 growing season in Napa Valley was marked by cool, mild weather. The cooler than normal spring delayed budbreak, bloom and veraison compared to the five year average. The mild weather patterns in August and September allowed for excellent overall phenological ripening and development of a complex aroma and flavor profile in the finished wines. Outstanding flavor development and color were key indicators of this exceptional vintage, so much, that all eleven blocks of Backus Vineyard are represented in this blend.

Reviews 97 Points - James Suckling
Aromas of mint, dark berries and black olives follow through to a medium to full body with lightly chewy and layered tannins that are long and focused. Lots of black-olive and conifer undertones, yet it remains subtle. Very long. (April 2021)

97+ Points - Jeb Dunnuck
In contrast to the more open and seamless Insignia, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Backus Vineyard is a beast of a wine based on 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot, and 4% Malbec that saw the same two years in new barrels. More blackcurrants, black cherries, mulberries, graphite, crushed stone, lead pencil, and tobacco notes define the nose, and it's full-bodied, with an incredible depth of fruit and richness on the mid-palate, building tannins, and a great finish. With air, it picks up this intriguing, burning ember, iron, almost Hermitage-like character, yet it shuts down with extended air and becomes more tannic and unyielding. It's a brilliant wine, but the cellar is going to be your friend. It should hit full maturity in about a decade and will evolve for 30-40 years. (Dec. 2021)

96+ Points - Robert Parker Wine Advocate
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Backus Vineyard is a blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot and 4% Malbec, aged for 24 months in 100% new French oak. Deep purple-black colored, it soars out of the glass with notes of plum preserves, baked black cherries and crème de cassis, plus nuances of pencil shavings, bouquet garni, crushed rocks and unsmoked cigars with a touch of cardamom. The palate is full-bodied and seductively rich, delivering mouth-coating black and blue fruit preserves with loads of exotic spice accents and a velvety texture, finishing long with a refreshing herbal lift. -LPB (July 2021)

96 Points - Antonio Galloni - Vinous
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Backus Vineyard is a very pretty wine... Time in the glass brings out layers of dark red/purplish fruit, rose petal, lavender and mint. The 2018 is a gorgeous wine... -AG (Jan. 2022)

96 Points - Wine Spectator
This sports the typical Oakville profile of dense plum, black currant and blackberry fruit flavors, but the fruit is more restrained than most, with licorice root, warm earth, menthol and roasted alder notes playing an equal part. Everything melds steadily through the long, smoldering finish. Built for the cellar. Best from 2023 through 2040. -JM (July 2021)

Tasting Notes Download Tasting Notes (pdf)


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Blend and Grape Sources 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot and 4% Malbec from our Backus Vineyard in Oakville, Napa Valley.

Appellation Oakville, Napa Valley

Aging/Cooperage 24 months in 100% new French oak barrels from coopers Taransaud, Marcel Cadet and Darnajou before bottling


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